For the purpose on this article, Flamenco Community refers to a collective of people who share a passion or at least an interest in flamenco.
Why is this important?
Well, basically because I am going to argue that flamenco is an art form that is born in a community and is essential to that community.
What I am getting at is that I see people all over the world making flamenco in isolation.
You know, flamenco guitarists sitting at their computers trying to learn flamenco from Internet based resources.
That is not a bad thing in itself, but I think that relying on this learning method alone is insufficient.
Defining the Flamenco Community
The first thing we notice is those people who are active participants.
In flamenco the most obvious participants are guitarists, singers and dancers.
However, we will also almost always see dancers of other flamenco people sing their hands to clap the complex rhythms.
This is called ‘palmas’, which of course refers to the palms of the hands.
Other people may be present. They do not appear to be doing anything specific.
They are nonetheless a part of the flamenco experience.
These are people who know flamenco and by their very presence are helping the performers.
As they are enjoying the performance and understand what is happening, their presence is encouraging.
Good and bad flamenco environments
It is important to understand that not all flamenco communities are equally good.
Just like anything else standards in flamenco vary.
Hence if you associate with a low standard flamenco group you may find that it does more harm than good.
It is not just a matter of standards.
You may find that you are more comfortable in one group than another.
We may come to understand that if a person is very good at flamenco it does not mean that they are a very good person.
Thus, what I am doing in this section is saying that we absolutely benefit from meeting other flamenco people, but choose your friends wisely.